Türkiye: a struggle for control

A closer look at the transformations in Turkish prisons

At the beginning of the 21th century, Turkish prisons transformed from informal, politically charged communal spaces into tightly controlled facilities. The historical background to this development reflects a conflict between political groups and authorities. What impact does this context have on the Turkish criminal justice system today?

Arda İbikoğlu is a lecturer in Sociology at Altinbaş University (Altınbaş Üniversitesi). He has written several papers on Turkish prisons, including on the introduction of maximum-security F-type prisons into the Turkish prison estate. Prison Insider asked him three questions.

Political groups ran their own wards, living in dormitory-type cells and controlling their daily life in the prison.

This was an ongoing struggle between oppositional social actors and the State, rather than an effort to implement serious prison reform.

Today, there is a crying lack of data.